Alternatives to a Christmas Tree

I won't have a tree this year, my husband doesn't believe. This is tough on me and hard for me to explain to my 5 year old granddaughter. Does anyone have any ideas for something that would look like a tree? Happy holidays.



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December 8, 20080 found this helpful

How about one of those little miniature pine-looking trees? You could decorate it or not, depending on how much of an issue you wanted to make of it. Or, shape the form of a tree (triangle?) out of lights, if hubby will let you. Or just tell grandchildren that you don't have room for a tree, or that you are not able to put one up, just can't do it by yourself, or whatever, and Grand-dad is a grump. (that was a joke, by the way) .Or decorate one out in the front yard if he will let you. I personally don't put up a tree anymore due to the fact that I have always lived in a small place, and a Christmas tree taking up more room than I was willing to give up space for is not on my list of priorities anymore, now that all the children have left home.


I will decorate just about anything on the outside though. I have plenty of room out there, and can go crazy with lights, (which I do). I have also decorated the trees in the yard, (magnolia) , with lights and huge ball ornaments. The sky's the limit outside as far as decorating is concerned. (get it, the sky's the limit?) ok, I'll quit now.......Hope this helps; happy holidays!

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By grami948 (Guest Post)
December 9, 20080 found this helpful

We don't have a tree & haven't for years. Too much hassle & cost since we're retired. Instead I have picked up small holiday themed things at the dollar stores or on after holiday clearances. They are things the grandkids can touch, hold & play with so they enjoy it much more than a tree.


We leave ours out until the day after Christmas when I pack away whatever has survived the season. With this approach things could be set back in come type of container & pulled out when the grandkids came to your house. Just a thought from one grandma to another.

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December 9, 20080 found this helpful

Hello grami948, & heaven4441. Thanks for the info, hey it isn't a joke, he is a grump, this really upsets me, I've always had a tree, he had too till he went to some sort of church,, he says a tree is pagan. I don't wanna make him mad at me, so I do decorate the inside, I just say, these lights aren't gonna hurt you, I get a laugh out of him, so guess I'll just not have the tree, but I will wrap my gifts, he doesn't say merry Christmas to anyone, doesn't like cards either, but guess what?


I'm gonna send a few out anyways, im not doing this to make him mad at me or nothing like that, I just believe in Christmas. Thanks ladies. Have a great holiday & great 2009.

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By katie a. (Guest Post)
December 10, 20080 found this helpful

I've seen houseplants decorated with ornaments and lights. Would he let you do that?

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By Auntie Em (Guest Post)
December 10, 20080 found this helpful

My mother, years ago when we were all small, had the same problem from my Dad. She got smart and made a LARGE felt green tree shape and attached it to a twin size quilt and hung it on a wall in our playroom. She then made many felt "ornaments" from various felt scraps in all colors and decorated them with buttons and sequins and trims.


She put double stick tape (you could use Velcro) on the ornaments and let us kids play "Pin the Ornament on the Tree" game on Christmas Eve.

The next morning, she piled our presents around the base of the tree wall hanging. Since it was a game, my Dad didn't say a word. PS - we did eventually get trees back in our house, my Dad could never refuse his daughter's requests!

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December 10, 20080 found this helpful

I understand how you feel. When I was young, my dad vascilated back and forth over having a tree. We usually had one, but we never knew if we would or not. And it was for the same reason. You might mention to him that the Bible also states that to the pure all things are pure and the tree you are putting up is not an idol that you are worshiping.


I understand that you don't want to make him mad and you want to respect his wishes. Perhaps if you hung "religious" type ornaments would help - angels, musical instruments, etc. I love Christmas decorations and I love Christmas trees, so I know exactly how you feel. Would he object if you decorated with pine boughs around the house, etc.?

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December 10, 20080 found this helpful

Many years ago, we had a big tumbleweed that my Mother decorated. I think Dad made a "X" stand for it out of scrap wood. It was so pretty and all of us children loved it.
By the way, Your name caught my eye...My name is Donita too. Merry Christmas from Loveland, CO.

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December 10, 20080 found this helpful

I wonder if he heard the story backwards? The reason we celebrate Christmas is because people actually worshiped trees and other false gods and the Christian leaders at the time decided to set aside the time to worship Jesus and His birth..since we already had a time to worship Him at Easter for his death on the cross.

Whatever your circumstances...put out your nativity set...that to me is the most special of all Christmas decorations. Send your cards and pray that his heart will soften. God bless you!

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December 10, 20080 found this helpful

knit a tree wall hanging that the kids can hang decoration on?

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By mklema92658 (Guest Post)
December 11, 20080 found this helpful

On Christmas Eve, it used to be the custom to tell the story of Adam and Eve. The tree represented the Tree in Paradise (Garden of Eden). This morphed into the Christmas tree. For a detailed article on the history of the Christmas tree, go to: and enter: history of the Christmas tree; or go to: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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December 11, 20080 found this helpful

I am atheist and still have fun with xmas trees and easter eggs.
To me there is nothing religious attached to this, it's just a colorful time with fun, gaudy decorations.
Perhaps you could have a talk with your husband and tell him for you it has no christian or pagan meaning ,just a colorful fun time with a tree full of colorful stuff hanging on it.

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December 12, 20080 found this helpful

Hello all, thanks so much for the very kind words on a crazy tree, it's hard, he just says not in his house. I thought this was my house too, but evidently not. My family thinks its awful. I did decorate our coat rack by our front door. It's in the corner. I have lights on it, & candy canes as well, he just kinda laughed when I got done. I said, I really don't see anything funny, guess he might of been making fun or something, heck I wait on him hand & foot. Everything I do for him, maybe I'm crazy, not real sure, I'm just a good descent gal here.

I'm so glad for my granddaughter. She's been a blessing to me. Thanks to all, & hope you all have a wonderful holiday. I always can't wait till it's all over. Just isn't Christmas anymore. Hello to the Donita from Loveland, CO. Thanks to all you nice people.

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December 13, 20080 found this helpful

Hubby and I moved to another state, far from our family and friends. While having our new home built we lived in a small apartment and had no room for a tree, but had lots of cedar trees on our property. We cut a few branches and placed them in a pail covered with foil and hung few lights and ornaments. Now that we're in our house with more room we have full size cedars, and they smell great. Who says we have to buy a traditional tree when we have other alternatives available? Why not make your own tradition, whatever that may be?

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By Clueless (Guest Post)
December 16, 20080 found this helpful

If you celebrate Christmas in a more religious format, try setting up a small set of shelves to hold Christmas figurines, like they do in Italy (where they traditionally did not use Christmas trees). They were often very simple shelves, usually featuring a nativity scene, and possibly other holiday figurines. I think it was called a presipio. Nothing says you couldn't put some lights on it...I think sometimes the shelves were roughly tree-shaped (i.e., triangular).

The various wall-hanging ideas I've seen posted sound like a great idea.

If you celebrate in a more secular way, there's always a Festivus pole (for all you Seinfeld fans out there). :)

As an aside, I hope you and Hubby can somehow work out a compromise (marriages are a two way street, after all). If you respect his wishes by not "Christmas-ing" the entire house, would he be amenable to your wishes by perhaps having a little tree, maybe even an artificial tabletop one over in the corner?

But then, I've got a tiny tree, a small menorah, and a mini Festivus pole on my desk at work, so go figure.

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By Clueless (Guest Post)
December 17, 20080 found this helpful

In Italy, trees were not that big a thing as a presepio, which was a small set of shelves (which could be tree-shaped) that held Nativity figurines as well as other Christmas figures. Some lights and garland could make it really festive-looking.

There's also a Festivus pole. You can't get much more secular than Seinfeld!

There's also decorating an outdoor tree. After all, it isn't IN "his" house. And if it's decorated with things that the wildlife can eat (popcorn, suet, cranberries, etc.) then just say it's a fancy bird-feeder.

Get yourself a sugar cookie recipe and a tree-shaped cookie cutter and go to town! Or you could make a tree out of cookie dough! There are sets of graduated star-shaped cookie cutters ( or make graduated star cardboard cutouts that you can lay on top of the dough and cut around. You bake at least two of each size, spread the top of each with green icing, let 'em dry, stack them up so that the points are staggered, glue each layer in place with a dab of icing, and you have an edible Christmas tree that you can decorate with M&Ms, gumdrops, piping, etc. using a dab of icing as glue. It's not so much a tree, as much as it's a great big pile of cookies.

Of course, if you want to push the issue, a menorah is definitely NOT pagan.

Also, keep in mind that there's the National Tree in front of the White House. I mention this because I'm having a hard time picturing George W. Bush of all people as being pagan!

And if the grandkids ask why there's no Christmas tree, don't cover for grandpa -- have him explain it to them (and their parents) in his own words. If he feels that strongly about the issue, then he should deal with the consequences (like looking at the expressions on their faces).

Your husband makes me laugh a little, only because of my grandfather. He was a very devout Christian, but not very tolerant, open-minded, or easy-going in his faith. Anyone crazy enough to call him a pagan wouldn't make that mistake more than once. Still, he often had TWO Christmas trees side by side, with a Nativity scene underneath them both!

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By Brigid (Guest Post)
December 19, 20080 found this helpful

I'm assuming Hubby's issue is based upon a fairly literal interpretation of Joshua 10:1-5 in that he doesn't seem to mind decorations -- just the tree.

I'm no theologian, but my take on it says that it refers to people who cut down trees, work them, bring them inside, nail 'em down and decorate them as "heathens."

If he wants to get literal about things, couldn't such a description also apply to wood paneling? Wooden furniture? Wooden floorboards, molding, and baseboards? These are all types of decorated tree products that are brought into the house, but he has no trouble with them, I assume.

Normally, I don't take issue with folks' beliefs. Everyone has a right to their own. But Hubby sounds like he's making his beliefs yours with no room for compromise, compassion, or consideration of your wishes. Maybe he's forgotten the REAL reason for the season: peace on earth and goodwill toward all.

And if he insists on interpreting this passage literally, would he have any objection if the tree were:

a) artificial or live (i.e., not cut down)
b) decorated in colors other than silver and gold
c) not nailed down
d) not brought into the house

Forgive me for being so "loophole-y" and un-holiday-like with all this, but if you wait on Hubby hand and foot, as you say, and in return he uses the words "not in my house" on you, then maybe you need some "ammunition."

But bear in mind that questioning beliefs can make some folks very defensive and they can act really ugly. You know him better than we do -- use your judgment.

And perhaps the two of you should consider having a little couple's counseling. There's no problem with you having your own separate belief systems, but you two should have a more equitable (and less one-sided) way of resolving your differences than issuing (or accepting) edicts.

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By Babs (Guest Post)
December 19, 20080 found this helpful

Here's how a New York chick (who has witnessed more than one labor strike) handles this.

I recognize that negotiations have broken down.
Once the husband uses the "not in my house" words on me, the gloves come off.

I make my final offer.
I sit him down and calmly say to him, "Either we have a tree in our house, or you can clean your house."

Issue notification of a mandatory one-week cooling-off period.
I inform the husband that effective immediately, I am turning off the cell phone and will be out of town for the period of one week. This lovely week is spent with friends, family, or at an inexpensive hotel...without the husband. If the fridge is empty, the hamper full, and the dust-bunnies calling, so much the better. Though I let someone know how to reach me in the case of a true emergency, I accept no other calls from the husband for that week. If I am staying at a hotel, I stop at the dollar store for a tabletop Christmas tree and all the decorations I want. I also pick up some of my favorite chocolates and a couple of books by my favorite trashy author.

I reopen negotiations.
After a week, I am sufficiently relaxed and rested to reopen talks with the husband, who is by this time motivated to bring the unfortunate ordeal to a swift close. We meet on neutral ground (a diner will do) and we re-negotiate. Being a reasonable New York chick, my goal is a speedy resolution that is acceptable to both parties. As a gesture of goodwill, I give him a nice kiss as I hand him the check. If I am feeling very charitable, I leave the tip.

But then, I'm a New York Chick

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December 19, 20080 found this helpful

Hi, yes I got it, the sky is the limit, haha. Happy holidays.

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December 19, 20080 found this helpful

Hi all, your gestures on so good, I will have to try these, I wrap presents today, & guess what? I put them under the coat rack hanger I made into a tree with lights & little pity lights. Its cute better than nothing.Happy holidays to each & every one of you. Donita.

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By OrahLee (Guest Post)
December 21, 20080 found this helpful

Several churches I attended had beautiful evergreen trees at Christmas time decorated with just white lights and "christmons". They were gold or white decorations like crosses, anchor crosses, holy spirit-doves, the christian fish, trinity interlocking circles, alpha & omega, and more. Shows the way symbolism can be a reminder of faith values. Try it has great ideas for your Christ-mass tree.
God Bless you.

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